Monday, October 30, 2006

Big news from Lexington

I have some big news to share. But first, I apologize to anyone who did not get a phone call from me first. I never realized how many people I knew until just the last couple of weeks.

Big news: Chris and I are now engaged!! He asked me on October 20 to marry him and I said YES! Of course, I had to get over the initial shock of the question, since he asked it as part of a conversation and it was late and I was starting to think about having to get home and so on and so forth. So the moment certainly surprised me! I like surprises, though, so he did a great job.

We don't have a date set yet, but we are hoping for October 2007. We are meeting with the priest at our church tomorrow (Tuesday) and then with some possible reception places on Thursday. I hope to have a firm date by the end of the week. And yes, we're getting married in Lexington; this is our home and it's where we met, where we go to church, where many of our friends are, and where we'll start our lives together. A lot of people assume we'll get married in Atlanta, but it's been way too long since I lived there for any extended period.

We are both very excited. We are also both a little unsure of how to proceed. I've organized events before, but nothing like this and I feel like I'm just feeling my way through the dark at the moment. But once we really get into it, we'll probably start having fun.

Stay tuned for more details, I'm sure I'll have plenty to share over the next 11 months!

Vending saga continues

Apparently the Neutrogena vending machine outside the UK Book Store is not the only strange vending machine around. Also in the Student Center is an Apple vending machine. From this one you can buy the ear piece headphones for your iPod, other iPod accessories, Playaways (kind of like books on tape, but the player is part of the item and it can only play the book one book), and any number of other Apple products.

I was told that there is a third strange vending machine somewhere on campus, but I haven't seen it yet.

So, will we one day being doing all of our shopping via vending machine?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Strange vending

I walked over to the UK Student Center today and went into the University Bookstore. On my way in I noticed something strange just outside the door. It was a huge vending machine that sold Neutrogena products! It was definitely a vending machine and even had a credit card reader on it. Has anyone else seen anything like this?

Note that this was not a regular vending machine with skin care products in it, this was a vending machine made for selling Neutrogena products.

What's next!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Phone Etiquette

Three times in the past week or so I have been in the bathroom at work with a student who is on the phone. I can't imagine talking to someone on the phone while using the bathroom, or even being on the phone with someone who is in a bathroom. It just seems rude to me. Have our lives become so busy that the only time we have to talk to people is when we're sitting in a bathroom? Or is it just that college students these days seems to have cell phones glued to their ears?

Three times in about 5-7 work days I have observed this. Is this now acceptable behavior?? Has anyone else observed this?

For your information, please don't call me if you are in the bathroom and I promise never to call anyone in the reverse situation.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Presentations and such

I took a class today at school as part of a two-year, leadership program I am doing through the University's Training & Development department. Today's class was called Presenting Effectively; it actually met today from 8:30 to noon and then meets again next Thursday same time. Guess why there is a week between the classes? Yep, we have to do a presentation!

So next Thursday I have to do a 20 minute presentation on the topic of my choice. The teacher is very much against having scripts, notes, or even detailed outlines. So I need a topic that I don't need any kind of notes in front of me for. I'm thinking of doing something on the clarinet. I know that in only 20 minutes I can cover a brief amount of history, a bit about the construction, and then show how it sounds, etc. I want something that is also interesting to the people in the class. I'm also open to suggestions. If you have any, I'm all ears.

Presentations are apparently everywhere this semester. There's my class of course, which is like doing a two and a half hour presentation once a week.

Today I agreed to present and facilitate a two-hour session at a state-wide meeting in December. I'm going to spend a little less than an hour giving an overview of the big cataloging issues and changes in the present US and international environment. Then we'll take a quick break after which we'll open the floor for discussion and questions. I just have to be sure to inform the audience that I am not the expert, but will be guiding the conversation. About 90 people usually attend this meeting and there are three breakout sessions, so probably about 30 people will be at this session. Though the organizer told me today what the other two sessions are which sound very interesting, so maybe my group will be small.

Then there is the young adult retreat in November. I'll be organizing one session during that weekend too. I have chosen Mary as my topic and I think I am going to organize it more as a discussion than a presentation. I think I might focus on the Marian dogmas and read the Biblical passages that support the doctrines and discuss them. That's the current idea, but we'll see. We still need to discuss all the retreat topics and get some kind of common theme between them all.

Any suggestions for presentation topics for next week?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Seven down, Nine to go

The semester is getting close to its midpoint. I've already given one test, graded two papers, and a graded exercise. Only four papers, two graded exercises, and two tests left. Plus, only nine classes left to teach this semester!!

I'm very excited! This is the last semester that I will be teaching this class. Can't wait to go back to having my one full-time job rather than the full-time job plus the adjunct position.

And the countdown continues ...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Home at last

Milwaukee was a great city. I thoroughly enjoyed the city, the meeting I was at (it was a great and diverse program), and the people I was there with. There are a lot of fun people in this group and it's always so much fun to see them all. I definitely want to go back to Milwaukee sometime, probably when the Irish Music Festival is happening.

I left the hotel on Saturday around 11am and got to the airport by 11:15. I was checked in and through security by 11:30 or so. I booked my ticket through Delta, but on the way home Northwest was the carrier and Delta actually sent me to the Northwest counter to get checked-in. I didn't realize that they did things this way now, but I guess I'll know for the next time. I sat in the airport and typed up one of the two reports I was going to need to submit from this meeting, plus I started the second one. So I'm a little ahead of the December 1 deadline on those. Woohoo!

My flight left Milwaukee on time and got into Detroit on time. This was the first time I had been in the Detroit aiport. They have a Tram that runs overhead just from one end of the A Terminal to the other. I had a three hour layover, so I walked the length of the Terminal (78 gates), walked back to the center (very cool water fountain/sculpture there), rode the Tram to the other end (just for fun), had dinner, and then walked back to the opposite end for my flight. We left Detroit almost an hour late, at 7:55, and I got to Louisville around 8:50. I got to Chris' house around 10:30 and visited him for a bit before finally getting home, around midnight. Definitely a long day.

So I'm home, safe and sound. Church this morning was great. Father Frank gave an excellent homily!! Otherwise, I spent most of the day relaxing and playing with Jake. I did finally sit down and grade the tests I gave last Tuesday (everyone made an A!!) and Chris is making dinner. He's cooking while I type; aren't I lucky?! :)

I hope everyone has a great week! --K

Friday, October 06, 2006

Meetings underway!!

Thursday in Milwaukee was primarily a walking day. I found my way through most of the downtown area near the hotel. Walked to the public library, walked along the River Walk, walked through the Cathedral, and more. I met up with some colleagues at the hotel around 11am and we all went to grab lunch before we headed to a tour of the Irish Music Archives.

Getting to the Archives was interesting. A lot of construction near the hotel has caused bus routes to be re-routed. After wandering aimlessly for a while, we finally found the right bus and were on our way. The Archives were very cool. They specialize in Irish-American music, or Irish musicians who have made splashes in the US, like U2, the Corrs, and the Cheiftains, as well as many others. They have a huge Bing Crosby Collection as well. They specialize more in popular music, rather than traditional Irish music. I had a meeting to get to back at the hotel, so one other person on the tour and myself had to leave early, and then had to run to catch the bus! It was probably quite comical to see us.

Last night we had a reception in the hotel and were entertained by the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. The director also gave a lecture on the History of the Mandolin and Mandolin Orchestra's in the US. The ensemble was very good and has been a part of the Milwaukee music scene since 1900.

Today is the bulk of the meeting. This morning we heard from various people in the business about what the future holds for our profession and how they deal with new things and so forth in their particular jobs. We heard from an Associate Dean of a Library School, an administrator in a Library, a veteren librarian, and a "new" librarian. Following that presentation we then heard about development on libraries, which was also interesting.

The afternoon program begins with a session I put together. We'll be hearing from two people from a company we all have to work with (OCLC) about some of their new programs and products that our library patrons will be using and we'll be using. It'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

Have to run now, lunch is almost over and I have to find my notes to introduce the two speakers. Sorry for any typos, etc., I did this really fast.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Traveling and safely in Milwaukee

Wednesday was a long day of travel. It started with my drive to Louisville which took a little over an hour. I was in the terminal (check-in and security was short) by 9:30 or 9:45. My flight didn't leave until 12. So I had a muffin at Starbucks and then walked the airport. I got an hour or more of exercise in before I sat down to wait for my flight to board. The flight to Cincinnati was 20 minutes.

In Cincinnati I had to take the bus from Terminal C (where Comair flies out of) to Terminal A (all other Delta flights and Delta carriers). Terminal A is pretty big so I started walking it as well. My flight didn't leave until 3:20pm, so I had quite a wait. I finally decided to walk to Terminal B (more Delta and International flights). I had a two hour layover, so I got a lot of walking in and had lunch. By the way, if you're ever in the Cincinnati airport for a long layover, there are more food choises in Terminal B than Terminal A. Terminal B even has a Max & Erma's and a Wolfgang Puck Restaurant. I just had Chick-fil-A.

I left Cincinnati at roughly 3:20 and 50 minutes later I landed in Milwaukee around 3:30pm. It was a 15 minute ride from the airport to the hotel. Appparently the Pfister Hotel is the oldest hotel in Milwaukee. If I lean close to my window and look to the right and through a bunch of buildings, I can just see part of Lake Michigan. I'm on the 21st floor.

Overall, Milwaukee is a nice town. It's easy to walk in and not hard to find things. I left the hotel last night and walked down Wisconsin toward a Borders. I figured if there was a Borders, there had to be other things around it. So I wondered through Borders a bit and then found my way to an Irish Pub where I had dinner. I order a Shepherds Pie, which came in this tiny little black cauldren. It was very good and then I finished it off with a Black and Tan Brownie. Couldn't taste the Guinness much in it, but it was good all the same.

The Hotel has wireless, but for a fee. Ever hotel I've stayed at the last few years has had wireless for free. Oh well. I found a cafe where I can get on the wireless and that's where I am now. Having breakfast and playing on my computer.

The hotel is also near the Milwaukee Cathedral, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. I called last night and got Mass times and considered going to Daily Mass this morning, but I overslept a little and couldn't make it. I might go over there later just to see it, maybe I can make Daily Mass on Saturday morning.

Today the plan is to take it easy in the morning and then I take a tour of the Irish Music Archives (largest in the world) and then committee meetings, dinner, and an opening reception.

I think I'll go find the Public Library now so I know where it is for my meetings tomorrow. Hope everyone has a good day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Milwaukee here I come!!

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Milwaukee for a conference. I'll be attending the Midwest Chapter Music Library Association meeting.

Tomorrow I have to drive from Lexington to Louisville and take a flight to Cincinnati. For those who don't know, the Cincinnati airport is actually in northern KY; not to mention that I can drive to either Louisville or Cincinnati from Lexington in just over an hour. I'm going to be doing an awful lot of traveling before I even get out of KY. But the ticket was cheaper this way.

I'm bringing my laptop with me, so I should be able to keep in touch while I'm there. I'll keep you posted on my comings and goings!!

Hope everyone has great weekends! Blessings to you all! K

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Real Presence

I had an interesting thought this morning while I was at Eucharistic Adoration. First I was praying for greater faith in the mystery of the Real Presence (as well as all the mysteries of our Catholic faith) and I was struck by how much we take this gift for granted. My next thought was that being here in front of the Blessed Eucharist is as real as if Jesus walked into the room.

Then I started thinking about the throngs of people that gather anytime the Pope makes a public appearance. How people try to get real close, possibly be able to touch him, and the awe that this figure holds. My mind then wondered to a very different thought: celebrities and other prominent figures that draw a mesmerized and adoring crowd.

All that led my mind to question: Shouldn't even larger crowds than those the Pope attracts (and certainly those that are drawn to celebrities) be attracted to the Real Presence? Not only that, but crowds should be coming to Mass every Sunday to actually receive the Real Presence. The church should be full!

In the Eucharistic Chapel, Jesus is truly there. People should be lining up to get into the chapel even if just for a few minutes. It took me a year and a half to make the committment to spend one hour a week there and now I feel like that isn't enough. I don't think I could get more time in necessarily, but I know that when I feel drawn to visit the chapel, I will make every effort to do so, rather than putting the thought aside because it isn't Monday morning yet.

Librarians vs. Search Engines

A colleague sent this article out today about search engines and the unreliable information they often return. Librarians and libraries, the article states, are still very much needed and the profession is having to change rapidly in ths new environment.

I have to say that I have been seeing this happen around me and things are changing so fast that it is hard to keep up. The article is very interesting and I encourage everyone to read it. Especially if you think librarians are just checking out and stamping books!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Special Mass for my grandparents

Today in Boston several members of my family are gathering to attend a Mass being said in honor of my grandparents. My parents and my sister and her husband and daughter flew up to Boston from Atlanta on Wednesday to be there with the rest of my mother's family. My grandfather passed away 32 years ago this past Thursday. My grandmother passed away in February of 2005.

Before I moved to Kentucky in 2000, I spent two years in western Massachusetts and I often drove into Boston on weekends to spend time with my grandmother. I'm glad I got to spend that time with her. I know she liked having me there as well. She also loved it when my aunt and uncle took her out to see me once and she got to attend an orchestra concert I was performing in.

Please remember my grandparents today and say a pray for their souls in heaven.